A bunch of student related updates.
Phd Students: Sumithra Sankaran and Sabiha Sachdeva both visited Montpellier, France to initiate collaboration with Dr Sonia Kefi on an Indo-French grant supported by IFCAM. They spent around a month in Montpellier (I was there for the initial one week) and have started working on an interesting collaborative project on spatial patterns in vegetation and other ecological systems. As of today, they finished attending a three day conference in Paris on Mathematical Models in Ecology and Evolution, 2015 with a distinguished list of speakers from various parts of the world. They too gave talks on their ongoing phd thesis work. They are expected to be back in town by the end of this month.
Jaideep Joshi is having great fun at IIASA, Austria at their annual Young Scientist Summer Program. For three months (June-Aug 2015), he will be working with Ake Bronstrom and Ulf Dieckmann, leading theoretical evolutionary biologists, on a spatial model of public goods dilemma.
Interns: Somewhat surprisingly, I ended up accepting quite a few interns this summer! They have all been fantastic.
The first intern was Arpitha who is doing her MSc in math from Christ University. She did a reading project on the evolution of cooperation in networks and also did various simulations related to that. In the process, I got to learn a few basic terminologies of network theory.
Sampada, a fourth year IISc UG student from math department did a simulational project on merge-split models of swarms.
Gokul Nair, a second year IISc UG student wrote efficient codes on swarming using net-logo which are now being used for the experimental work.
Poornima, a second year student from IISER Pune did a reading project on super organisms.
Hans Kaliaden, a third year IISc UG student majoring in biology read about and wrote a net-logo code on vegetation pattern dynamics that has both individual based and reaction-diffusion based dynamics.
Varsha Shenoy, a second year MSc student from Mysore Univerisity is also working on a short project on vegetation pattern formation!
Science is Fun with so many young students around!
Long back, in 2012, I did a very interesting teaching project with primary school children. I also wrote about it in this blog. The same blog article, with some modifications, has been published in Resonance.
Click here for the article (pdf): Discovering Facts: Finding the longest day with school children
For some reasons, there were three footnotes in my article submissions which have been ommitted in the final version. The footnotes were numerically referenced as , ,  in the text but what exactly those are got missed out in the final version (my fault to have missed it at the stage of proof). I am posting those below here:
 Disclosure: The school is founded by close relatives and friends. You can learn more about it by visiting the website: www.purnapramati.in
 A preliminary version of this article appeared in the souvenir of the school in Jan 2013 and has also been put up on my personal/lab blog.
 Data for sunrise and sunset for most cities can be downloaded from: http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/RS_OneYear.php (you need to know Longitude and Latitute of the place) OR http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/astronomy.html?n=438
As always I am slow in posting what’s happening in the lab.
Three undergraduate students, one from Physics and two from Math department, who worked with me during the summer of 2013 did a very cool project. They built a physical model to demonstrate the principles underlying early warning signals of tipping points. They submitted this project to a all India level competition organized by TIFR-CAM to celebrate the Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013. In Nov 2013, they were given first prize for their work at the Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum, Bangalore.
On the right is a picture of students posing with their physical model! Congratulations to Nikunj Goel, Athmanathan and Sriram (left to right) for their excellent work and for winning the prize.